Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study shows drivers using cell phones twice as likely to cause rear-end collisions

27.03.2003


Drivers talking on cell phones are nearly twice as likely as other drivers involved in crashes to have rear-end collisions, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study. Crashes involving cell phone use, however, are less likely to result in fatalities or serious injuries than crashes not involving the devices.

Almost 60 percent of licensed N.C. drivers have used a cell phone while behind the wheel, investigators from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) found. The most common violations for drivers involved in collisions while talking on phones were failure to reduce speed, traffic signal violations such as running red lights, speeding, following too closely and failing to yield to other vehicles.

"Not surprisingly, cell phone users were less likely than those who don’t have them to perceive talking while driving as a distraction or safety concern," said Dr. Jane Stutts, associate director for social and behavioral research at HSRC. "They were also less supportive of legislation that would ban drivers’ use of cell phones or issue stricter penalties for cell phone users involved in crashes. However, three-fourths of both groups indicated they would support legislation prohibiting the use of hand-held phone by drivers, except for emergencies."



Stutts’ study, "Cell Phone Use in NC: 2002 Update Report," was sponsored by the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program and is an extension of earlier work issued in November 2001.

Co-authors of the new report released today (March 26) are Dr. Herman Huang and William W. Hunter, research associate and associate director, respectively, at HSRC. Senior computer analyst Eric Rodgman helped with data gathering and analysis.

The investigation involved a statewide telephone survey of 500 cell phone users and 150 others to gauge driving-related behavior and opinions.

Also included were analyses of characteristics of cell phone-related crashes based on 452 such incidents found during a computerized search of N.C. crash report narratives from 1996 through August 2000. In addition, the N.C. State Highway Patrol collected more data for the study over two months last summer.

"We wanted to know how many people were talking on cell phones while driving and how many crashes were cell-phone related," Stutts said. "We also wanted to find out more about these crashes."

Based on the data collected, the researchers estimate that cell phones are responsible for at least 1,500 motor vehicle crashes across the state each year.

Other findings were that:


  • Drivers most often talking on cell phones were between ages 25 and 39, and a higher proportion of users drove sport utility vehicles than non-users.

  • The average time per day spent talking on phones while driving was 14.5 minutes, while the medium time was five minutes. Talk time decreased with increasing age and was higher among males than females.

  • One in four users had a hands-free device although they did not always use it when talking.

  • Cell phone crashes were more likely to occur during mid-day and afternoon hours in urban areas and on local streets.

  • Most cell phone users were at least partially responsible for their crashes.

Investigators identified cell phone-related crashes by running computerized searches for collision reports in which officers specifically mentioned the telephones in their descriptions each crash, Stutts said.

The special two-month data collection effort by the N.C. Highway Patrol found that of the 29 identified cases, all but one involved a hand-held phone.

Most occurred while drivers were talking on their phones but some involved reaching for, dialing, getting ready to dial, answering or picking up dropped phones or hanging up.

Based on reported cases, the team estimated that cell phones were involved in at least 0.16 percent of crashes in non-metropolitan areas or about one in 623 reported crashes, she said. The 29 reported cell phone collisions projects to 174 cases annually.

Nine out of 10 crashes, however, occurred within municipal areas.

"In fact, only an estimated 11.8 percent of the crashes identified from the 1996-2000 narrative search were reported by the Highway Patrol," Stutts said. "Although this number represents only a small percentage of all reported crashes in the state, 1,500 crashes is still too many, especially for something that could easily be avoided. Drivers need to remember that their first responsibility is to pay attention to their driving."

David Williamson | EurekAlert!

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>